We’ve got several important issues on various agendas across the country for the week of February 17, 2014…
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
The Police Advisory Committee has scheduled a hearing on February 19, 2014 at 4:30 p.m. to take public testimony and conduct further study on dangerous dog policies. As you recall, some city officials have called for an ordinance regulating or banning “pit bulls” in the city limits.
The hearing will be held at City Council Chambers at City Hall, and the public is encouraged to attend and address the council on any potential changes to the city’s animal control policies.
Keep in mind that nothing has been proposed and these discussions are designed to open communications between the city and residents. Considering some council members have voiced opposition to a breed specific ordinance, its very likely that residents can work with city officials to develop a law that is fair and effective, one that targets irresponsible dog owners and dogs that are dangerous based on their behavior, not their breed.
Positive change takes place when citizens actively participate in decisions that affect their communities, and this is a great opportunity for Medford residents to make positive change that improves the safety and welfare of the entire community – people and animals alike.
You can find our original post on Medford here.
Thursday, February 20, 2014
HB 422, the bill that would prohibit counties and municipalities in Maryland from adopting any ordinance or law that determines dogs dangerous based on breed, is scheduled for a hearing in the Judiciary Committee on February 20, 2014 at 1:00 p.m.
The bill, entitled Dogs – Discrimination Based on Breed, Type, or Heritage – Prohibited, provides that a dog may not be determined to be potentially dangerous based solely on the breed, type, or heritage of the dog. The bill also provides that tenants may not be prohibited from owning, keeping, or harboring a dog of a specific breed, type, or heritage, or be denied occupancy in or evicted from residential property solely because the person owns, keeps, or harbors a dog of a specific breed, type, or heritage;
MARYLAND RESIDENTS: Please reach out to your respective legislators, as well as the members of the Judiciary Committee, and ask them to support HB 422. You can find contact information for your legislators at our original post here.
Los Angeles County, CA
Carlos Efrain Duarte is due in court on Feb. 20, 2014 on one count of felony animal cruelty. Mr. Duarte “allegedly” strapped fireworks to a dog and left him to die on a street in North Hollywood in July 2013. A witness identified Duarte as the man who pulled a severely injured dog from the back of his truck, abandoning him in an alley.
Indy, a 3-year-old pit bull, was found, left for dead, on July 5, 2013. He had third-degree burns on his rear legs, his paws and part of his thorax – some of the burns were so severe that his bones were exposed. The doctor who treated Indy advised that he has treated many animal with Fourth of July-related injuries, but none were as extreme as those Indy suffered.
Please continue reach out to the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office and encourage them to prosecute Duarte to the fullest extent of the law. Duarte planned and carried out an act so egregious that no plea bargain should be offered to him. Ask the L.A. County District Attorney to send a loud and clear message that animal cruelty and abuse will not and cannot be tolerated in a civil society.
Contact information can be found here.
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The below bills have upcoming votes, so residents of these states, please continue to encourage your legislators to support them!
HB 97, which would prohibit the passage of breed specific ordinances and render existing breed specific ordinances void, passed in the House Political Subdivisions Committee on February 10, 2014, and advanced to the full House. Contact information for your legislators can be found here.
On February 4, the South Dakota Senate passed SB 75 in a 19-16 vote. The bill has been assigned to the House Local Government Committee. As a reminder, SB 75 would prohibit ordinances that target specific breeds, but would not prevent cities from enacting ordinances that apply to all animals. The bill also recommends ways for cities to deal with vicious animals by addressing owners and individual animals. Contact information for your legislators can be found here.
HB 1116 would prohibit any village, town or city in Missouri from enacting any ordinance, order, policy, or regulation of dogs that is specific to breed. The bill is currently in the General Laws Committee. Contact information for your legislators can be found here.